A school vision is about seeing something that is not there yet, articulating it and then taking the necessary steps to bring it to life. A school vision is about a wish for your school, a real-world wish that can actually be realized. A school vision is about change, positive change that impacts everyone in the school community.
A school leader can indeed create a school vision on his or her own, but if it is going to take a team to implement that vision – as it always does in a school or school system – it is better if the team develops the vision collaboratively. But more on that in just a bit.
Why a school vision is important
Think about all the many different parts there are to a car. These different parts can work together to generate quite a bit of power. But all that power doesn’t matter much if the car’s steering doesn’t work - if there is no way to make the car go in one direction and not in another. In fact, a car without steering is the very definition of directionless.
A school too can be directionless without steering…without a strong, clear vision.
A school vision gives everyone in the school community a collective sense of purpose. The community members implement the vision in different ways – depending on their particular skills and their roles – but the school’s vision is the starting point for everything that they do. It provides a motivation that brings meaning to everyone’s work. It helps to make that work matter. And it helps everyone to go in one direction and not in another…over and over again, toward the realization of the school vision.
From "What Does a Principal Need to Know about Inclusion?" by David and C. Fred Bateman:
"How can a principal demonstrate commitment to all students in the school? There are a number of ways, including attending and participating in IEP team meetings, asking how students are doing, providing positive reinforcement for good work and providing positive reinforcement when teachers and other staff are working together to meet the needs of students with disabilities."